- Department of Early Education and Care
- Executive Office of Education
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Establishes Process for Emergency Residential Group Homes to Care for Children and Youth Affected by Covid-19
Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education
Boston — Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order Thursday authorizing the Department of Early Education and Care to establish emergency sites for children and youth living in residential homes that have tested positive for COVID-19 and need to be cared for in quarantine or isolation.
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is responsible for the licensing and oversight of residential programs and group homes, providing 24-hour custodial care and social services to children cared for by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Development Services (DDS), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Youth Services (DYS), and other organizations. EEC also works with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to license residential schools.
These programs remain open throughout the State of Emergency and will continue to do so. Some existing facilities do not have the capability to effectively isolate and quarantine individuals who have been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19. The goal of the temporary emergency residential sites is to accommodate the needs of COVID-19-exposed youth who cannot stay in their current residential placement.
The order gives EEC the authority to do the following:
- Open temporary emergency residential programs better suited to care for residents who need to be quarantined or isolated; and
- Provide appropriate flexibility around licensing regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while keeping educators, children, and youth safe.
“In these unprecedented times, the dedication of our residential program providers and educators has been truly commendable,” said Early Education and Care Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy. “With today’s executive order, Governor Baker has enabled the Department of Early Education and Care to meet the needs of this community head-on.”
Any provider interested in operating a temporary emergency residential site may apply on the EEC COVID-19 website.